Characters: Allison Blake/Jack Carter/Nathan Stark
Summary: Allison makes up her mind. Also, there are zombies.
Author's Notes: Thank you to amilyn for the incredibly good (and also rushed) beta job!
Written for seshat_maat in the 2009 femme_fic ficathon, for this prompt: Adventures that include all three of them, yet focus on Allison. Wacky science is great, politicking is great, quiet moments are lovely, and Allison being excellent at her job and a good mother is best. Major bonus points if you can work Kim in (a season and a half later, and I still miss her), but don't force it. If you want to go in the romance direction, I'd prefer a threesome to any pairing alone, but gen is wonderful, too. Sorry I couldn't work Kim in for you! I love Kim, but it would've been forced to include her in here. Also, she would've been a zombie, and that's just wrong.
"Why the hell do we have a lockdown program in this house for when zombies invade Eureka?" Carter was pacing through S.A.R.A.H.'s living room, a worried look on his face. "First of all, zombies are the living dead, which is ridiculous and unscientific and you two aren't doing anything like you usually do to make it scientific, and second, my daughter is out there! With the zombies!"
Allison had some sympathy for him; after all, if Kevin hadn't been safely asleep in Carter's guest bedroom, she'd be the first one trying to break out of the house using whatever she could find. MacGyver had nothing on the scientists in this town. Instead, she sat on the couch, waited, and tried to keep the bickering to a minimum.
Nathan looked more calm and collected than either Allison or Carter did. His hands were in the pockets of his suit, and he standing in the middle of the floor, watching S.A.R.A.H.'s television feed without even frowning. Somehow, he'd tapped into her programming so that they were able to pick up the closed circuit television cameras all over town. He still couldn't get S.A.R.A.H. to let them out, though.
"Relax, Carter," drawled Nathan. "I'm sure your daughter's brains aren't going to be at all appealing in light of the scientists we have in town."
"Relax?" asked Carter. His hands clenched into fists.
"Hey!" Allison pushed herself up from the sofa and went to stand in front of Carter, who was about to launch himself at Nathan. "Give it a rest. He's worried. We all are."
"He's insulting Zoe's intelligence," said Carter. Sometimes Allison wondered how people could talk when their jaws were clenched that much. Allison shoved her palm against Carter's chest to keep him in place. His muscles were tight. She decided not to think about Carter's muscles, or his chest, or any other part of him.
She kept her hand in place, though.
"Hardly." Only Nathan could sound that indifferent in the middle of a zombie invasion. It reminded Allison both of why she loved Nathan, and why she sometimes hated him more than she could stand. "I simply meant that Zoe and Jo have flamethrowers, and are keeping the zombies back more effectively than any of the scientists employed at Global Dynamics."
"Except for Fargo," said Allison. She leaned to see around Nathan. Who knew Fargo could be effective at zombie killing? "Are he and Vincent making flambé out of the zombies?"
"My daughter has a flamethrower?" asked Carter. "Where did she get a flamethrower? What is Jo doing letting her have a flamethrower? When this is over, she is so grounded."
You could always count on Carter to focus on the practicalities of the situation.
"I'm sure they have everything under control," said Allison, doing her best to sound soothing.
"Not when Zoe has a flamethrower, they don't!" snapped Carter.
Allison glanced over at Nathan, because any help reassuring Carter was better than no help. Except he was giving her that look where the area between his eyebrows was furrowed. The one that meant he wasn't happy, and was trying not to show it.
She followed his gaze, and realized he was staring right at her hand. The one that was on Carter's chest. Instead of pulling her hand away as fast as was humanly possible, she met his eyes, and gave him a pointed look of her own.
"What are we going to do about this, hm?" asked Nathan. He was being a smooth talker tonight, and deliberately clueless.
He was trying to infuriate both of them. The odds were that Carter would snap first.
"I don't think there's anything you could do about the zombies even if we were out there," said Carter. He craned his neck to look past Nathan. "Jo's got things under control. Of course, I'm going to fire her when this is over with. She's going to set her hair on fire."
"Who, Jo?" asked Allison, frowning with confusion. "I think she can take care of herself."
"No, Zoe!" snapped Carter. "Jesus, can't you keep up?"
"That's funny, usually I'm saying that to you, Sheriff," said Nathan. One side of his mouth turned up in a smirk.
"Enough, both of you," said Allison, her voice sharp. "Jo and Zoe are mopping up the last of the zombies, Jo will sweep through Eureka and make sure none of them got away, and S.A.R.A.H.'s lockdown will end twelve hours after the threat is neutralized."
That was about the time Carter realized that Allison's hand was on his chest. He was staring down at her, and his eyes were narrowed. He was looking at her as if she were a suspect.
"What?" asked Allison. She knew what this was about. She didn't want to admit it, either to herself, or to Nathan and Carter. On the other hand, she wouldn't be doing this if she didn't want the men to figure it out.
"You're touching me," said Carter. "Why?"
Damn it. When it came to determining motivation and judging human behavior, there was no one in Eureka more capable.
"Because I want to," said Allison. She glanced between Nathan and Carter. Nathan had gotten quiet, with a serious look that said he'd be following her lead.
"You want to touch me?" asked Carter. This was a tone of voice that she was familiar with. He was at least clear on what she wanted, but he didn't know why she was doing this.
"We pay this man to keep our town safe?" asked Nathan. He nodded at Carter, who glared.
Allison sighed and rolled her eyes. "You just can't make anything easy, can you, Nathan?"
"You really want this, Allison?" asked Nathan. He let out a small sigh, then studied Carter's face. "You really want him?"
He asked it as if she hadn't spent months trying to decide how she felt about them.
"I want both of you, you idiots," snapped Allison. She grabbed Nathan's tie and twisted her hand in Carter's shirt, then dragged them back toward Carter's bedroom.
Morning arrived too soon. Allison wasn't used to being woken up by S.A.R.A.H.'s cheerful voice. She groaned, and her voice was drowned out by Nathan and Carter sounding unhappy at the bright lights being shined on them. "Another five minutes, please?" said Carter. He dragged the pillow from under Nathan's head and shoved it over his face. "Just five minutes before I have to face what's going on in my life."